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Lights, camera, action: A second chance at convocation

June 22, 2022

Today, after two years of virtual graduation ceremonies, RRC Polytech alumni — along with their classmates, friends, family, loved ones and College staff — are gathering for a second chance at convocation.

Almost 1,000 alumni will don a cap and gown to cross the stage in person during ceremonies at the Centennial Concert Hall.

“We recognize that being surrounded by classmates and loved ones, and crossing the stage is a major milestone to help celebrate students’ hard work and achievements,” says Dr. Christine Watson, Vice-President, Academic and emcee of the alumni graduation ceremonies.

“We wanted to be able to provide this memorable in-person experience to alumni who had virtual convocation ceremonies over the last two years,”

Earlier this spring, after receiving positive survey responses from alumni who graduated between Spring 2020 and Winter 2022, the College announced that special return convocation ceremonies would be held for alumni.

For Tian Tian, who first arrived in Canada in 2020, not only did she have to learn how to navigate a new country and way of life, but also remote classes in a new online learning environment. Despite all the challenges, Tian seamlessly managed a demanding class schedule, found time to give back to the community, and began building a family.

Having started her education journey at the onset of the pandemic, and finished during another wave of the pandemic, she now has the opportunity to attend the in-person convocation ceremony she had anticipated.

“I am grateful to be able to join my instructors and fellow classmates in person — they have been fundamental in helping me build brave relationships here at RRC Polytech and prepare for my future career,” says Tian, who is a 2021 honours grad of the College’s Manufacturing CAD program, and recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for outstanding achievement.

“Today is also extremely special because my son, Alexis, who became our youngest classmate, will be with my family in the audience while I cross the stage.”

Tian will bring remarks at tonight’s 7:00 p.m. ceremony, which — like those taking place at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. — will be available to livestream at rrc.ca/convocation.

Congratulations to the classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022!

College launches new IT program for Indigenous students as part of RBC Foundation gift

June 20, 2022

Today, Indigenous learners interested in pursuing a career in Manitoba’s information technology (IT) sector will have access to a new program offered at RRC Polytech, thanks to a $450,000 gift from RBC.

This most recent gift — alongside funding for other programs and platforms that connect diverse students to their ideas, potential, and one another — makes for a million-dollar friendship.

“When community partners like RBC connect with RRC Polytech to create globally needed programs, we’re ready to answer the call,” said Fred Meier, President and CEO, RRC Polytech.

“This new pathway program is designed to equip Indigenous Manitobans with the skills and support required to transition into selected programs at RRC Polytech. With the move to remote and hybrid work and heavy reliance on technology, the world of IT operations is growing every day, and RRC Polytech’s students are in high demand.”

RBC has been a longstanding partner of RRC Polytech, and today, both organizations are celebrating over $1M in support. These gifts have provided mentorship and internship opportunities for students through such initiatives as Ten Thousand Coffees and Riipen, and sponsorship for the annual Directions Conference. They have also made possible a series of Reaction by Collision events, the latest of which served as host to today’s announcement about the new Pathway to Information Technology Programs offering.

“We at RBC are delighted to support the new Pathway to Information Technology Programs with this gift,” said Kim Ulmer, RBC’s Regional President. “Representation in industry, access to education, and tapping into the incredible talents of Indigenous people matters to all of us. We are so proud to further deepen our longtime friendship with RRC Polytech, while helping give space to new and innovative ideas in areas of information technology.”      Read More →

RRC Polytech adopts 2SLGBTQIA+ acronym and raises Progress Pride flag

June 15, 2022

RRC Polytech has committed to embed equity, diversity, and inclusion into all work done at the College and is always looking for ways to advance meaningful change.

Moving forward, the College will use the acronym 2SLGTBQIA+ to respectfully acknowledge members of the Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, and the countless affirmative ways in which people choose to self-identify community.

The College is placing Two Spirit People at the beginning of this evolving acronym, out of respect for their longevity, and their importance and status in Indigenous beliefs and traditions, after consultation and collaboration with our Elders in Residence and Knowledge Keepers Council.

“I’ve always advocated to recognize Two Spirit first because if we are going to talk about truth and reconciliation within Canada and recognize and acknowledge Indigenous people, including Two Spirit people, we should put them at the beginning. I’ve never understood why we are at the end,” says Barbara Bruce, O.M., All My Relations Inc., and RRC Polytech Knowledge Keepers Council.

“Placing the 2S at the beginning of the acronym is recognizing the original peoples of Canada — First Nation, Métis Nation and Inuit Two Spirit people — and it’s acknowledging who those people are. I think everybody should embrace this stance.” Read More →

RRC Polytech celebrates 2,000 grads at in-person convocation

June 13, 2022

Today, RRC Polytech is celebrating its latest group of graduates with an in-person ceremony — the first held in-person since February 2020.

“Tonight’s ceremony marks a fresh start for our graduates. They have accomplished a great deal through challenging circumstances — they truly deserve a celebration,” says Dr. Christine Watson, Vice-President Academic.

“Our convocation ceremonies represent opportunity and new beginnings. We are excited to be gathering together again to celebrate our students’ achievements.”

More than 2,000 students — many of whom completed a significant portion of their learning in a virtual setting — will cross the stage over three ceremonies, the first of which takes place tonight at 7:00 p.m.

Among the honourees at this week’s ceremonies are Taryn Lucas and Trent Adams, the College’s 2022 Lieutenant Governor’s Medal recipients. RRC Polytech awards up to four Lieutenant Governor’s Medal awards each year to graduating students who excel in academic and technical achievement, involvement in College and/or community activities, and good character.

Lucas graduates from the Community Development program, while Adams graduates from Environmental Engineering Technology. Read More →

RRC Polytech hosts in-person Pow Wow for graduating Indigenous students

May 9, 2022

Last Friday, RRC Polytech welcomed back its in-person Pow Wow to celebrate graduating Indigenous students, with a day-long event that included a traditional pipe ceremony, drumming, dancing, singing, feasting and an Indigenous makers market.

Approximately 170 Indigenous students registered for the event, the largest number in RRC Polytech’s Pow Wow history. The event was also live streamed.

For the past two years, the College’s Pow Wow has been held virtually, with students signing up to be recognized in a live stream filled with Indigenous performances and messages of congratulations. Including the two virtual celebrations, this year’s event marked the College’s 22nd Pow Wow.

“Nothing can replace celebrating our students in-person and creating these memories that help mark a special moment in their lives and where their cultures are celebrated,” says Fred Meier, President and CEO of RRC Polytech. “Indigenous success is vital to all areas of our College and is just one of the ways we will contribute to the ongoing process of reconciliation. We’re seeing Indigenous students register for this year’s Pow Wow from across all programs areas: health, business, trades, and many in between.”

“This past fall, we launched our new strategic plan: In Front of What’s Ahead. Of the plan’s three commitments, the second is to commit to Truth and Reconciliation and pursue equity, diversity and inclusion in everything we do. Our work will begin with listening.

“Just this year, we have welcomed a Knowledge Keepers Council to help advise on our strategic initiatives, and we’ve welcomed Jamie Wilson as our Vice-President of Indigenous Strategy, Research and Business Development, which will increase our capacity for partnerships with Indigenous students, businesses and communities, and help further embed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action and training.” Read More →

RRC Polytech team finishes first in Sprint to Innovate challenge

May 5, 2022

RRC Polytech proudly owned the podium at the Sprint to Innovate Challenge last month, as teams representing the College won three of four available cash prizes.

Six Business Technology Management students teamed up as the North Latin Friends and outraced their peers to the finish line in the biannual 48-hour student innovation challenge, presented by the City of Winnipeg and held in cooperation with industry partners, the University of Manitoba and Tech Manitoba.

“Sprint to Innovate is a fun event that cultivates relationships between students and allows them to display technical and creative skills to potential employers,” says Dr. Jonathan Ziprick, Applied Computer Education instructor at RRC Polytech. “It’s a great opportunity for students to learn and practice the innovation process that is used for solving problems in industry.”

In Sprint to Innovate, industry partners provide real businesses challenges for student teams, who must choose an issue to tackle, work with a mentor to develop innovative business solutions over the course of a weekend, and then pitch their ideas to overcome the challenge to a panel of judges.

The competition requires teamwork, creativity and communication, and encourages participants to push the boundaries of conventional wisdom.

“The breadth of ideas, pragmatic approaches and workable solutions that students come up with in such a short period of time is impressive,” says Tyler Gooch, Director of Innovation & Technology for the City of Winnipeg. “As judges, it was difficult to select a winner because all the groups presented well-reasoned conclusions. In the end, we decided to reward a team that attacked their problem from a unique angle, forgoing obvious technology-based solutions to focus on a social innovation.”

With members hailing from Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Cuba and Ecuador, a cultural connection brought the North Latin Friends together as a team, and their shared experiences as new citizens inspired their response to the challenge — put forth by the City of Winnipeg — of how to encourage engagement and increase voter participation for the 2022 municipal election. Read More →

RRC Polytech unveils artwork by KC Adams at opening of Roundhouse Auditorium

April 29, 2022

Today, RRC Polytech unveiled Anishinaabe/Nêhiyaw/British artist KC Adams’ Morning Star design — which is embedded within the floor of the College’s new Roundhouse Auditorium — at the official opening of the space at Manitou a bi Bii daziigae.

“KC Adams really captured what our College and this building represent,” says Fred Meier, President and CEO, RRC Polytech. “Not only did she so thoughtfully include distinct histories and cultures that are part of these lands, but she also integrated what type of learning will happen here. It pays homage to history, but it’s here in the present and looks to the future.”

Located on the second floor of Manitou a bi Bii daziigae, RRC Polytech’s newest building at the Exchange District Campus, the Roundhouse Auditorium is a 210-seat space that will be used for events, ceremonies and collaborative learning. It is sound-proof, ventilated for the use of traditional medicines, and features a curved, panoramic projector to display videos and create an immersive experience.

“This space brings together so many aspects of RRC Polytech’s guiding principles: transforming to meet emerging needs, committing to reconciliation and diversity, and deepening our partnerships to maximize prosperity,” says Meier.

“The uniqueness of the Roundhouse will create more opportunities to gather, innovate, collaborate and invite the wider community in. It’s spaces like this that set RRC Polytech apart and show we can be really proud of how our College continues to contribute to the changing landscape of the Exchange District, Winnipeg and Manitoba.” Read More →

RRC Polytech hosts first in-person Skills Manitoba competition since start of pandemic

April 19, 2022

For the first time since 2019, RRC Polytech will host the Skills Manitoba Provincial Competition, welcoming more than 110 post-secondary students to its Notre Dame Campus to compete in skilled trades and technology contests representing a range of industry sectors.

This year’s competition — which had to be postponed a few days due to last week’s spring storm — runs April 19–22. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, RRC Polytech had hosted the provincial competition on campus every year since 1998.

“We’re excited to have Skills Manitoba back on campus. It’s an incredible opportunity to showcase the talent that comes out of RRC Polytech and our partner institutions,” says Derek Kochenash, Dean, Skilled Trades and Technologies. “The event highlights how well our students are prepared for careers in the trades and allows them to show off their talents to their peers and industry professionals.”

Each year, the competition provides the opportunity for nearly 500 high school, post-secondary and apprenticeship students to compete in events that test skills required in trades and technology careers. (This year’s secondary-level competition for high school students remained virtual, and was held from April 4–14.) Contests are designed by provincial technical committees made up of industry professionals and educators.

“Skills Canada Manitoba is working to change the perception of skilled trades and emerging technologies,” says Maria Pacella, Executive Director, Skills Canada Manitoba. “The young people who participate in these competitions will be the workforce of tomorrow. As we emerge from this pandemic, we all need to work together to showcase the economic and social benefits of a skilled workforce.”

Winners of the provincial competition form Team Manitoba, and compete at the Skills Canada National Competition in Vancouver from May 25–28. Read More →

Morning Star installation grounds Manitou a bi Bii daziigae in Indigenous traditions

March 30, 2022

A stunning work of art embedded in the floor of the Roundhouse Auditorium at RRC Polytech’s new Manitou a bi Bii daziigae space honours Indigenous artistry and technology while highlighting its importance to our past, present and future.

Designed by prominent Anishinaabe/Nêhiyaw/British artist KC Adams, Morning Star incorporates traditional and emerging technologies in a space designed to bring people from a wide range of backgrounds together to learn and innovate. Manitou a bi Bii daziigae is home to RRC Polytech’s flagship business, information and technology programs.

Morning Star celebrates traditional Indigenous technologies such as birch bark, which Adams featured prominently in the design.

“Embracing technology is a part of who Indigenous people are and have always been,” she explains.

“Birch bark was used as a versatile technology for many tribal groups across North America for knowledge sharing, vessels, shelter, transportation, design, fuel and even sunglasses to prevent snow-blindness.”

Adams, who is based in Winnipeg, sourced the bark herself, then scanned and digitally altered it to fit the larger design. The bark is arranged in a pattern that represents new beginnings —  “the first star you see in the morning, the star that guides us.” Read More →

RRC Polytech launches $60M campaign: In Front of What’s Ahead

December 1, 2021

Red River College Polytechnic has officially launched the largest-ever campaign in the institution’s history.

To mark Giving Tuesday — a global generosity movement aimed at giving back to the community — RRC Polytech is calling on all Manitobans to support the institution’s commitment to providing students, partners and communities with programs, spaces and supports that put them ahead of the competition.

In Front of What’s Ahead is a $60-million comprehensive campaign that aligns with the College’s new five-year strategic plan and focuses on three priority areas of funding, informed through a broad stakeholder engagement process:

  • Enhance student life ($10 million)
    To position RRC Polytech as a first-choice institution for learners.
  • Transform our spaces ($40 million)
    To keep pace with the rate of change of our businesses and societies.
  • Amplifying our impact ($10 million)
    To attract instructors and researchers in tune with an ever-changing economy, and to better support our partners.

Meeting these priorities will better prepare RRC Polytech to embrace disruption to meet the needs of its students and community members — today and in the years ahead. With this support, RRC Polytech’s students will have access to learning spaces and state-of-the-art equipment that prepare them today for the workforce of tomorrow. They will have more opportunities to work with and learn from industry leaders and mentors. Students will have access to new pathways and programs that reduce barriers and allow learners to receive the appropriate supports needed to succeed.

“As Manitoba’s polytechnic, we have a responsibility to equip our students and partners with the skills, facilities, technology and pathways they need to get in front of a rapidly changing workforce,” says Fred Meier, RRC Polytech President and CEO.

“For more than 80 years, we have been anticipating the needs of industry and fulfilling the training gaps in communities across the province. As technology and the way we work continues to evolve, we’re asking all Manitobans to join us. Join us in creating opportunities for grads to contribute on day one, in creating access for entrepreneurs and businesses to bring their ideas to life, and in creating spaces for communities to flourish.” Read More →